After having bought my first pineapple, I had been instructed to be careful about washing my hands if I ever got pineapple on it (after slicing it open). Furthermore, I was told that I shouldn't wash the pineapple fruit with any water, but that I could only do it after cooking the water first. Both of these were explained as their being a sort of reaction that the pineapple has on contact with water. Reminds me of those chemical reactions with sodium and water.

The problem is, I couldn't get a satisfactory explanation of what the reaction was. The reasoning behind the reaction was not given, and when I asked what the reaction caused, the only explanation I received was "it is like that funny taste you sometimes get in your mouth when eating pineapple". I should note that I've never had a funny taste in my mouth when eating pineapple, so this explanation wasn't helpful.

What is the reaction that pineapple has when it comes into contact with water? Does it have dangerous effects, or is it mostly just affect the flavor of the fruit?

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    out of curiosity, where were you when this was told to you? There are some curious regional food beliefs running around in the world. Some people in Mexico, for example, are convinced that curly parsley, the type that is mostly used to decorate a dish, is a deadly poison. Oct 27, 2011 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


I have never heard the water-pineapple thing. It may be a confused result of the fact that fresh pineapple cannot be put in a gelatin because there is an enzyme in pineapple (and papaya) that breaks down the structure of the gelatin and it will never set. Canned pineapple is fine to put in gelatins though, the canning process breaks down the enzyme. I have definitely gotten water on pineapple (in fruit salads from other fruits) though, and I didn't explode... It might also just be that pineapple doesn't need or benefit from washing and it turned into 'NEVER GET IT WET' at some point.

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    Ya, I've never heard of a death by exploding watery pineapple. ;)
    – rfusca
    Aug 24, 2011 at 13:56
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    ...and kiwi also has an enzyme that will prevent gelatin from setting. Aug 26, 2011 at 1:48

Like Katey said, pineapple has the enzyme, that left on your skin for longer time makes your skin itch.

As for washing the pineapple with water, it's ok to do so. Pineapples tend get mold on the shell more quickly after the shell gets wet. Other than that, it is not a big deal from my experience to get it wet, it doesn't affect the taste or the meat in the shell.

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